Japanese multinational IT equipment and services company Fujitsu has announced plans to reduce its use of plastic in its business activities to help tackle ocean plastic waste.

Fujitsu’s pledge includes the withdrawal of plastic cups and straws and plastic-bottled drinks from its meeting spaces and café, and vending machines located on the company’s property. The vending machine bottled drinks will be gradually replaced with cans or paper cartons. The company said that this move will reduce the number of plastic bottles used from around seven million per year to zero.

Plastic bags will also be withdrawn from convenience stores and other stores located on Fujitsu’s property. The company said the goal is to encourage employees to carry around reusable bags.

Fujitsu has also pledged to collaborate with external second-hand goods companies to further its ocean plastic waste efforts. It plans to recycle plastic packaging from procured components, starting in the second half of the 2019 fiscal year.

Fujitsu move addresses consumer’s plastic waste concerns

GlobalData consumer insights analyst Shagun Sachdeva said: “This strategic move by Fujitsu comes at a time when most consumer giants are focused on increasing their positive social impact and actively integrating ocean plastic into their products or their missions.

“With consumers increasingly becoming more critical of brands’ messages, the onus is on the companies to convince consumers beyond mere marketing that they are committed to mitigating the environmental impact of their products and business activities. According to GlobalData’s 2018 Q4 Consumer Survey, 32% of Asian consumers often consider how ethical/environmentally-friendly/socially-responsible the product/service is while making purchasing decisions, whereas 22% of Japanese consumers keep eco-friendly aspects at the forefront.

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“In line with this, Fujitsu plans to resolve the plastic waste problem on a global scale by adopting multiple measures such as promoting innovative materials to replace plastic packaging across its supply chain. This move will help it to capitalize on influential consumer trends and capture their sentiments.”

How are companies tackling ocean plastic waste?

The ocean plastic waste problem has continued to grow over the years with companies now facing increasing pressure to use more sustainable packaging materials. Recently, an American explorer found plastic waste during a record-breaking victory for the deepest ocean drive ever.

However, many companies have commenced efforts to clean up ocean plastic. This year, CarbonLITE launched a 100% post-consumer ocean-diverted plastic for food, beverage and cosmetic applications. US-based cannabis packaging company Sana Packaging introduced a new line of 100% reclaimed ocean plastic products and US-based company SC Johnson introduced its 100% recycled ocean plastic Windex home cleaning brand bottle.